Occupational First Aid Regulatory Change

Summer 2024 update 

WorkSafeBC’s Board of Directors has approved amendments to Part 3 of the Occupational Health and Safety Regulation, relating to occupational first aid (OFA). These amendments take effect November 1, 2024.

To assist you in preparing for the new requirements, we are sharing information about the new workplace first aid curriculum and additional resources to help you understand the first aid regulatory changes.

For detailed information, please see the following on our website:

CSA-aligned curriculum opens on July 2 

Training providers may start offering the new CSA-aligned curriculum as of July 2, 2024. Curriculum opening means that training providers will have access to the new curriculum. Many providers will need time to prepare the new courses before they can offer them to the public. First aid attendants are free to take the new course curriculum from an approved training provider any time after July 2. However, employers intending to use intermediate attendants in advance of November 1 must comply with the new regulation.

We are still in the process of reviewing and approving courses for some equivalency providers. Please consult with your training provider to ensure you’re registering for an approved course.

All OFA certificates valid until their expiry date 

All OFA certificates are still valid until their expiry date. After October 31, active OFA certificates will become equivalent to basic, intermediate, and advanced certificates.

This means there will be OFA certificates expiring after the regulatory changes come into effect November 1, 2024. For example, an OFA 2 certificate issued April 9, 2024, will be valid until April 9, 2027.

Extensions for expiring OFA 2 certificates 

OFA 2 certificates expiring between July 2 and October 30, 2024, will be accepted as valid through October 31. You do not need to hold an Intermediate certificate until November 1. However, you must successfully complete the Intermediate course by October 31 to work as an intermediate attendant beginning November 1. This provision does not apply to OFA 1 or OFA 3.

OFA training ends August 31 

Training providers who currently offer the WorkSafeBC OFA courses will no longer offer them after August 31. Starting September 1, they will exclusively offer CSA-aligned programs.

New and upcoming resources on worksafebc.com 

Updated OHS Guidelines and backgrounder 

WorkSafeBC develops OHS Guidelines to assist in the application and interpretation of changes to the OHS Regulation. We recently posted the preliminary revised OHS Guidelines for Part 3 – Occupational First Aid. A draft version of these guidelines was posted for consultation in April 2024. Feedback from interested parties was incorporated into this preliminary revision.

We have also updated the Backgrounder: Occupational first aid regulatory changes to reflect the preliminary guidelines.

Workplace first aid assessment worksheet 

Effective November 1, employers will have a duty to establish their workplace first aid requirements in consultation with their workers. Employers will need to complete a written first aid assessment for each workplace.

This written assessment will help employers determine the appropriate first aid services needed to ensure prompt first aid treatment and transport to a medical facility. We are publishing a worksheet to document the minimum and additional first aid services required for your workplace.

You can find the worksheet on our First aid requirements page in early July.

Frequently asked questions 

In response to questions we frequently receive from employers and first aid attendants, we are developing an FAQ on the upcoming changes to occupational first aid requirements. The FAQ includes key changes to the Occupational Health and Safety Regulation, outlines what kind of vehicles are acceptable as emergency transport, and when you may need to develop first aid procedures that account for hospital closures and diversions.

You can find the FAQ on our First aid requirements page in early July.

Video resource coming in the fall 

We are currently developing a video resource to provide you with detailed information regarding the changes. Topics include changes to first aid assessments; training and credentials; equipment requirements; and workplace factors (including remote and less accessible workplaces).

For more information:

The provincial government has made amendments to the Workers Compensation Act that affect return to work. Starting January 1, 2024, employers and workers will be required to co-operate with each other and with WorkSafeBC to ensure the worker can return to their pre-injury job, a comparable job, or other suitable work. For more information, worksafebc.com/bill41.

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